Socrates, arguably the father of ancient Philosophy, was put to death by the City of Athens in 399 BC, which is almost 2,500 years ago. Last May of this year, the New Trial of Socrates was enacted in Athens and the panel of 10 judges were split evenly on the verdict, so by default he was acquitted.
Just to give some perspective, the Catholic Church condemned Galileo as a heretic in 1633. He was placed under house arrest and all his works were banned. This ban was completed lifted by 1835. By 1939 Galileo was praised for his work by Pope Pius XII and in 1992 Pope John Paul the Great issued a declaration admitting all the errors committed by the Catholic Church tribunal that condemned Galileo and his works.
So it only took the Catholic Church less than 400 years to admit it’s errors in judgement, but it took the City of Athens almost 2,500 years to deliver a corrected judgement, albeit by default. So what, exactly, did Socrates do to deserve the infamous death sentence by suicide?
The charges against Socrates: ”Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and he believes in other new divinities of his own.”
The reasons for the trial and condemnation of Socrates continue to be a subject of dispute to this day. Suffice it to say that it is well worth the effort to read up on it and see if the human race is all that different today than it was 2,500 years ago.
See the trial here…